1960s‎ > ‎

1966 FIFA World Cup

England hosted the 1966 FIFA Football World Cup.

Eight different venues were used to play the matches, including: Villa Park, Hillsborough and Old Trafford.

World Cup Willie was the competition's mascot. He was a lion, a typical symbol of the UK, wearing a Union Flag jersey emblazoned with the words 'WORLD CUP'.

The final match was played on 30th July 1966 at Wembley Stadium between England and West Germany.

Wembley Stadium Twin Towers

It is the most watched event ever on British television, attracting 32.60 million viewers.

With the score level at 2–2 at the end of 90 minutes, the game went to extra time.

In the 98th minute, England's Geoff Hurst's shot hit the crossbar, bounced down and the hit the ground either onto or just over the goal line. The Swiss referee was uncertain if it had been a goal and had to consult his Soviet linesman, who indicated (using signals as they both spoke different languages) that it was. TV replays failed to prove if the ball had crossed the line, and this goal, known as the 'Ghost Goal', has become part of World Cup history ever since.


Hurst completed a hat-trick when he then scored his third goal of the match in the last minute of the match, taking the score to 4-2 and leading to an England victory.

Close-up of the ball from the 1966 World Cup Final (3302542219)

This final goal gave rise to one of the most famous sayings in English football, when the BBC commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme described the situation as follows: "And here comes Hurst. He's got... some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over. It is now! It's four!".

England won the solid gold Jules Rimet trophy, which their captain collected from Queen Elizabeth II from the royal box.

Jules rimet